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TotD: Doris Lessing on Education

The Golden NotebookDoris Less­ing, Intro­duc­tion to The Gold­en Note­book

Ide­al­ly, what should be said to every child, repeat­ed­ly, through­out his or her school life is some­thing like this:

“You are in the process of being indoc­tri­nat­ed. We have not yet evolved a sys­tem of edu­ca­tion that is not a sys­tem of indoc­tri­na­tion. We are sor­ry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amal­gam of cur­rent prej­u­dice and the choic­es of this par­tic­u­lar cul­ture. The slight­est look at his­to­ry will show how imper­ma­nent these must be. You are being taught by peo­ple who have been able to accom­mo­date them­selves to a regime of thought laid down by their pre­de­ces­sors. It is a self-per­pet­u­at­ing sys­tem. Those of you who are more robust and indi­vid­ual than oth­ers will be encour­aged to leave and find ways of edu­cat­ing yourself–educating your own judge­ments. Those that stay must remem­ber, always, and all the time, that they are being mould­ed and pat­terned to fit into the nar­row and par­tic­u­lar needs of this par­tic­u­lar soci­ety.”

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